Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thoughts on a Middle School Choral Concert OR Why My Ears Hate Me.

I love music. I just want to get that out there. The reason I mention it is because music is going to have awful things done to it this evening and it makes me sad that I have to watch.  It's a bit like being on a jury and having to watch grisly footage of a violent crime. You know you have to pay strict attention, but inside... a little piece of you dies.

That's right... it's time for the annual Middle School Winter Concert. I had to wear a knit hat today because my ears are trying to run away from home.

The thing is... not even the most diehard, ultra-supportive, super-invested parents can actually LIKE these things. I know, I know...we all put on a brave face, and smile and clap...but we're all thinking the same thing. "Dear Jesus, if this is how we are celebrating the birth of God's child... with stunted, lurching and off-key Romanian Yule carols, then fire will surely rain from the heavens before a fortnight hath passed." This is like walking all the way to Bethlehem for weeks on end, to seek the presence of your newfound king, and the only son of the Almighty, only to give the little baby Jesus a bowling ball with your name etched into it. 

Okay, that's probably just me. But there is no logical way an intelligent person can still derive pleasure from this overt act of cacophonous treason. Early on, they had the "cute factor" working. The "Aww-Aren't-They-Precious" thing. That ship has sailed my friends. These kids are too old to be cute. That line was crossed when I had to discuss oral sex with my daughter in the backyard at my parent's house on Fourth of July. Once you've heard your daughter say the word "blowjob", "Cute" is a thing of the past.

But we'll clap and smile. The ultra-sarcastic will bring video recorders so they can exact swift and cruel vengeance upon the family members who didn't make it to the show. Once they even tried to have a standing ovation. I looked around in terror, afraid that a fire had broken out or something. "Why is everyone standing?" I thought. "Are they being ironic?" 

And then there was last year... the Honors Choir that The Girl is in, did this haunting, beautiful rendition of "Silent Night". The air was dead still inside the theater as their thin, angelic voices grew to become mighty. You could sense that the audience was holding its breath as those delicate, warm words of comfort floated over the throng.I felt the goosebumps gallop down my arm and the heat in the corner of my eyes building to a watery tumble. My heart beat a little faster and I thought "Wow. They've finally gotten good." This thought alone was enough to justify the tears. It was like getting a call from the Governor at 11:55pm. 

Immediately after that came an especially kazoo-focused version of Jingle Bells. With half of the lyrics in French. 

That got a standing ovation. Sarcastic bastards.


Moonkee said...

There should be some kind of Babel Fish for such occasions. Maybe a Tuba Fish.

Elly said...

I agree, but posit that a middle-school band concert is worse. At least when kids sing off-key it's still kind of sweet, but an entire orchestra screeching through "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" a hair too flat and two beats too slow is just a step below Abu Ghraib.

I speak lovingly as someone who was in both :)

French kazoo Jingle Bells sounds like a new holiday classic to me!

chet said...

Wait. So the kazoos were french? Oh, what the hell. **stands in ovation**

Moonkee said...

The kazoos were FREEDOM.